05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Interview with author, Meg Cabot (whose last name rhymes with Habit!)

By: Marcia King-Gamble

A great big shout out to Generista, Sarah Raplee, co-founder of The Generistas, for giving up her spot on the blog so that I could publish this interview with Meg Cabot. Thank you so much Sarah.

Just a few days ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Meg Cabot (best known for her series- The Princess Diaries.)  Her last name rhymes with Habit.

On February 05th Meg will speak at a luncheon hosted by The Broward Public Library Foundation; a not-for profit, funded by the Broward Library. The information can be found below:

Me: How does a Resident Assistant at New York University become a successful writer?

Meg: I always loved writing stories. Romance is my favorite genre to read. I began writing my first story at age 7. My parents were always encouraging. My dad was a professor at a university and my mom was an English teacher. My mom told me I needed to take typing lessons and have a backup job. She suggested I become an administrative assistant as that would give me free time to write. When I graduated college I became a resident assistant and was able to take classes for free. My first book, a romance was published while I was at NYU.

Me: You refer to yourself as a high school freak, why is that?

Meg: I was in theater. My high school was rural. If you weren’t into basketball or football you were a freak. I never go back to my high school reunions.

Me: You’ve written over 80 books and you have a new one coming out.  Tell us about your journey.

Meg: I was published by St Martin’s press at age 30. My first book was a historical romance written under the name Patricia Cabot, because I didn’t want my grandmother to find out. Turns out her favorite author was Rosemary Rogers who was as racy as you can get back then. I write two to three books a year. YA (Young Adult,) Middle Grade and Adult books.  My first e novella, Proposal has just been released. 

Me. I read somewhere you love cats.

Meg:  I’ve never been without cats. We only have one now. She’s a typical Key West Cat.

Me: You mean she has twelve toes?

Meg: No, she doesn’t have multiple toes, but she does have the Key West attitude. She’s very independent. She has a cat door and goes in and out of it, but is always back for breakfast.   

Me: How many rejections have you gotten?

Meg: As a teenager I sent submissions to Seventeen Magazine’s contest and got rejected all the time.  But professors were very encouraging. It was the fellow students who didn’t understand. I would send out a query letter every day.  I got rejections every day. I’ve gotten thousands of rejections.  It was cheaper than playing the lottery with a bigger return. Then one day I got a call and it was that romance I mentioned published by St. Martin’s Press.

Me: You write for multiple genres. Do you write three books at the same time or do you complete one before you move on?

Meg:   I write one at a time. I’m a fast writer. My mother’s advice to take typing paid off. I think of a plot first. As a working writer it’s important to be flexible. Yes, everyone has a book of their heart. I have almost a hundred of them. My first book was about a basketball coach who solves crimes. It was a terrible book, a weird book. At times you have to let go. I knew nothing about basketball. My agent said it’s terrible. It’s going to ruin your career.  

Me: What’s in the pipeline for 2016?

Meg: I revisited a story that was initially a YA a series.  I thought it might be fun to see what they’re up to as adults. I wrote it so that anyone could read it without having read the others. It’s a stand- alone book.  It’s called Remembrance and is out in February. The heroine’s boyfriend is a ghost. My e novella is titled - Proposal.

Me: Will you be talking about your book at the upcoming library luncheon?

Meg: I’ll be talking about the meaning of life and about pursuing your dreams.  I want to talk about small topics. What are we here on the planet for? How to be empowered like a Princess.  I have another Princess book coming out in May for younger readers.

Me: What’s this fascination with Princesses? You wrote the Princess Diaries.

Meg:  My mother is obsessed with princesses. She grew up in the era of princesses; Princess Grace marrying the king of Monaco etc.  There is no princess I am not familiar with. When I was younger I saw Star Wars for the first time. I write about princesses who rule; the ones who rescue themselves and about embracing your inner princess.
Me: How does the reading public get in touch with you? Are you on Instagram, Facebook etc.?

Meg:  I’m on Facebook and twitter etc. You can find me at I’m still catching up with Instagram but I’m on it.

Me: Is there anything else you want to talk about? Your cat? Your husband?

Meg:  It’s been so cold in Florida that my cat is spending more time indoors. Recently my cat came in at 2 am and was screaming so loudly we thought another cat was in the house. We raced downstairs and it turns out it’s the first time she’d seen her own reflection in the mirror. She was trying to fight herself.  

Me: Is there something that keeps you up at night?

Meg: Besides my screaming cat and the election?   We’ll try not to talk about politics.  I feel so lucky and grateful to be doing something I love so much, and that I get to do it for a living is the best feeling in the world.

Me: Thank you for your time. You have a standing invitation to pop in at the Florida Romance Writers meetings. We meet the second Saturday of the month.

Meg: Thank you and I look forward to meeting you soon.  Come say hi at the luncheon.


Judith Ashley said...

If I lived closer, I'd be at the Broward Library on February 5th!!! So glad another "Princess" book is coming out. And, I agree with Meg's mother, knowing how to type is a life saver for a writer.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

I'm registered and so excited to meet Meg Cabot up close and personal. The Broward Library offers such great programs. I can't wait!

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for doing this interview, Marcia!Great Questions!

I am not a fan of the heat, but I'd love to be in Florida for the luncheon. I hope all our Floridian readers make it.

Meg, your books are both entertaining and thought-provoking. Thank you for writing them!

Marcia King-Gamble said...

My pleasure Sarah and thanks for graciously giving up your spot and letting me publish this interview. I have it on mp3. I wish I could find a way to share the recording with our authors and readers.